Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 9 Edition

Joe Caporoso with predictions for Jets vs. Saints

The New York Jets have just finished one of the most up and down, inconsistent half seasons in recent football history. At 4-4, they have exceeded expectations to an extent but the manner of their four losses has taken some of the luster off their .500 record. Before the season, I picked the Jets to be a 7-9 team and still wouldn’t be surprised if they finished with that record however I do think they have a look of being a game or two better than that considering their second half schedule.

The Jets have offensive and secondary deficiencies that will be difficult to overcome. They need to improve their turnover ratio and create more big plays on both sides of the ball to help mask their problems. While winning is always the primary objective, this is a critical eight game stretch for many of the team’s young players and new acquisitions to show their long term viability.

First and foremost, Geno Smith needs to have a better final 8 games than his first 8 games, if he achieves that, he will be starting on opening day in 2014. If he takes a big step back, the Jets are going to have interesting decisions to make this off-season when approaching the draft and free agency.

Elsewhere on the offense, Stephen Hill’s role could be further diminished when Santonio Holmes returns but if he doesn’t show any tangible progress, he may not be a major factor in the team’s long term plans at wide receiver. I’m not saying they’ll cut the guy but he could easily find himself behind Jeremy Kerley-FA Signing X-Early Round Draft Pick X and David Nelson on the depth chart next season. I don’t think Santonio Holmes is likely to be back next year but a strong finish and reasonable contract demands could change that. At running back, neither Chris Ivory or Bilal Powell has looked like a true lead back at this point. Ivory is the more talented of the two but he needs to make a few a big plays or the Jets could aggressively look to upgrade the position this off-season. At tight end, it will be interesting to see if Zach Sudfeld can make a case to be a long term piece here.

On the offensive line, Austin Howard is playing for a contract extension which he has earned so far while D’Brickashaw Ferguson could be playing his way into a pay-cut. It would be nice to see Brian Winters improve as well and truly lock down the starting job at Guard for 2014. If Willie Colon plays the last eight games, the way he played the first eight games….he’s likely to get a new contract from the Jets.

On defense, if Antonio Cromartie doesn’t improve, he is a likely cap casualty. Dee Milliner will keep getting chances and keep getting burned for the foreseeable future. Let’s hope he fights through it and shows some type of improvement in November and December. Antonio Allen is making a strong case for being a 2014 starter at safety but needs to remain consistent. Muhammad WIlkerson has already earned his monster new contract. Quinton Coples had a brutal first half but came on strong late last season, maybe he’ll replicate that this season. Either way, the Jets still badly need to address the edge rusher position next year.

If the Jets sneak into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, it will be a pleasant and exciting surprise. It shouldn’t be expected but at a minimum the Jets should be playing relevant football in December for the fifth time in Rex Ryan’s five years here.

How will they start out their second half? We turn to the 12 Pack for answers….

1. Drew Brees will throw for 325 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He will be sacked three times.

2. Kenny Stills will beat the Jets (likely Dee Milliner) deep for a long touchdown.

3. Jimmy Graham will have 85 yards receiving and a touchdown.

4. Darren Sproles will have 90 offensive yards and a touchdown.

5. Lance Moore will convert a few big third down conversions working against Kyle Wilson in the slot.

6. Geno Smith will have a strong overall game, finishing with 260 yards passing, two touchdowns, 40 yards rushing and only one turnover.

7. Chris Ivory will be the Jets leading rusher and score his first touchdown of the season.

8. Zach Sudfeld will have at least 40 yards receiving.

9. Nick Folk will continue his perfect season, knocking through 2 more field goals.

10. Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson will both have 4+ receptions.

11. Josh Cribbs will bring out one kick return past the 50 yard line.

12. The Jets will cover the 6.5 point spread but lose, 31-27, heading into the bye week at 4-5.

12 Pack Record – Against The Spread (5-3), W/L (4-4)

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • KAsh

    Hypothetical: if a decent veteran QB becomes available in FA and Geno plays the rest of the year as he has the first eight games, do you bring in the FA and let Geno learn behind him?

  • Bob

    Kash there is no way you can bench Geno in 2014 with the expectation that he’s then going to learn more, from the sideline, than he has in 16 games on the field. You give him all 16 and he’s either your starter, or he’s competing with a rookie next year.

  • mike

    the jets need major upgrades at running back, wide receiver, tight end, and cornerback. they also need to make improvements on the offensive line, at safety, and at linebacker. long-term, almost every position on the team is an area of need except for the defensive line.
    geno smith isn’t perfect, that’s obvious. but benching him for a new roll of the dice like that’s the answer to building a winning team is ridiculous.

  • David

    I have always believed with the QB position that what the Jets need to find more so than anything else is an experienced, viable backup if Geno has a game like he did against Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and to an extent Cincinnati.

    I said after the Tennessee game that it was painfully obvious the Jets do not believe at all in Matt Simms or Brady Quinn because if they had, Geno would have been on the bench. It is the exact same thing the Jets did with Mark Sanchez; they had no one backing him up that they believed in– unless you felt comfortable with 41 year old Mark Brunell. There were MANY games Sanchez should have been yanked and wasn’t, and look how it turned out for the Jets.

    And I have to laugh when people say, “Oh you can’t bench Geno with him as the future.” If he can’t handle being benched when he is playing bad, then he is not a franchise QB and he doesn’t need to be on the Jets. It has nothing to do with the Jets not believing in him; it is about trying to win football games and putting the players out there that give the team the best chance to win.

  • KAsh

    I would really like Joe’s opinion. I agree that right now Geno is on the cusp – lots of positives combined with just plain bad decision making. I still cannot get the Pittsburgh interception out of my head: Geno turns his head and stares down a smothered Nelson for 2-3 seconds and then throws the ball to him anyway.

    Let me be more detailed. Say the Texans part ways with Matt Schaub. He is 32 years old and on the decline. Prior to this year, he has always had a 2:1 TD-Int ratio. He was never great, but the Jets check him out and think he will return to form. After a disastrous season in Houston, he will not break the bank. Do the Jets bring him in?

    And for everyone thinking about drafting a QB, short of a total collapse in the next eight games, the Jets will avoid drafting in the top 10. Bridgewater is out of reach, Mariota may not even come out, and you will be left with a choice between Tahj Boyd, who cannot complete a pass past ten yards in the last few games, and Johnny Football. Regardless, two undeveloped QBs competing does not make one developed QB. Remember Tebow & Sanchez?

  • Joe Caporoso

    KAsh – At that point, I don’t think Geno is learning anything from sitting and watching. Once you pull the job away from him, it is hard to expect him to come back at some point and take it over. That would be odd movement for a QB carousel. I like keeping a proven veteran behind him (more proven than Garrard or Simms) who is constantly pushing him and not letting him get complacent. If Geno plays the next 8 games exactly how he played the first 8 games, my guess is that the Jets would have him be the #1 on opening day next season with a strong veteran behind him and maybe spend a mid-round pick on a QB. If he improves, probably just the veteran and no draft pick. If he falls way off, I could see them maybe being aggressive in the draft and making a move up for somebody or taking a hard look on spending a bit on a FA or trade.

  • Mark Phelan

    Jets should focus on improving Geno, not finding a backup or replacement.

    …Better protection from left OL
    …Possession TE, not a hybrid WR/TE
    …A REAL running back

    Most important: Another year of quality QB coaching.

  • Lidman

    Cro will certainly be a ‘cap casualty’ no matter how he plays. HIs cap number for next year is $14.98mm. His actual bonus+salary is $9.5mm, so cutting him will ‘only’ cost them $5.48mm in dead money. If his play doesn’t improve, they may not even try to extend him.

    ‘Brick is probably safe. He’s scheduled to make $6.7mm total next year, with a cap charge of just under $11.7. If they cut him, he’d have a hefty amount of dead money-$13+mm, but would only save them just under $2mm for next year. He has no incentive to take a pay cut. There would be a market for a LT out there that would exceed a pay cut (Just look what Jake Long got).

  • LIJetsFan

    Unless he implodes from here I think we stay with Geno thru 2014. None the less, w/o a franchise QB on the roster I think we should continue to draft one each year when/if one should up as BPA for the pick.